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Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

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get into the right perspective—the problem of Galicia. In the extension
of the Curzon Line to the south., two alternatives were recommended to
the Supreme Council's Commission on Polish affairs . . . There were two
proposals. One was line A, which is the line that the Soviet Government
now claim as the basis of the frontier itself. Line A was proposed as the
boundary between Poland proper and an autonomous Eastern Galicia,
which it was hoped to set up under the suzerainty of Poland. Line B,
further to the East., which left Lwow to Poland, was recommended if the
bulk of Eastern Galicia was excluded from Poland and the autonomous
State under her suzerainty was not created.
" Our delegation favoured Line A—the line which the Soviet Govern-
ment are now asking for—and it was eventually adopted by the Supreme
Council, and embodied in the draft Treaty. Of the reasons which actuated
us at that time, one was the economic position in that part of Europe and
the necessity., as those who reported thought, of keeping this economic area
of Eastern Galicia as a whole. The second reason was the possibility that
there might be there a larger independent State, perhaps as part of a great
Ukraine. I think the final reason was the population problem. At that
time the population of this area between Line A and Line B, which is, as
far as territorial matters go, the crux of the dispute—if our Polish friends
could get Line B their attitude would probably be modified a good deal, and
personally I can well understand their attitude—the populations at that time
were, out of a total of about 1,500,000, there were over 500,000 Ukrainians,
little more than 250,000 Poles, and the rest Jews. I think that was the
reason why those concerned at that time had in mind to try and arrange
some autonomous regime.
" I would like to ask the House for a moment to look at the population
problem generally in the area between the Riga frontier and the Curzon
Line taking Line A. The figures I shall give are those of the 1931 Polish
census. They are the latest figures available to us though likely enough
there have been very considerable changes since then. They showed that
the population in that area, in what might be called the disputed area, was
10,700,000. Of that total, 3.900,000 are Polish-speaking population;
3,200,000 are Roman Catholic population. I think those who are authorities
on these matters say, usually, the religious figures are rather nearer to the
mark than the language speaking figures, because, for instance, Jews might
be Polish-speaking Jews who would be included in one and not the other.
That is about the figure—at the most 3,900,000, at the least 3,200,000. It
would be fair to say, therefore, that, while there are no later figures than those
of 1931, the Poles have never constituted much more than a third of the
total population of this area."
Commander Agnew (Camborne) : " Has my right hon. Friend any
figures for Lwow itself ? "
Mr. Eden : " . . . My view is that there is certainly a Polish majority
in Lwow itself. I have always taken that view, though in the surrounding
country there is a Ukrainian majority.
" Let me turn to the present situation, and its difficulties. First, I would
like to answer a question on supplies, by my hon. and gallant Friend the
Member for The Wirral (Captain Graham). This matter is now being
examined by the Prime Minister and myself, with our technical advisors.
I am unable to say exactly what we shall do in the winter months, but it is
under examination, and it is on the basis of what we can do that we shall
decide our action."
Mr. Petherick : " . . . My right hon. Friend . . . has not mentioned the
Treaty of Riga, which was the final arrangement between Poland and Russia